Reporting Boundary: UK operations
Emission Sources: Electricity, T&D losses, Natural Gas, Other Fuel, Fleet, Business Travel
Reporting Period: 01 Nov 2020 – 31 Oct 2021
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Childbase Partnership, an employee-owned childcare company that has 43 nurseries providing ‘Sound Foundations’ for children aged 0-5 years, has achieved Planet Mark certification.
This is Childbase Partnership’s fourth year of business carbon footprint reporting and Planet Mark certification. Since certifying to Planet Mark, the company has set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually.
Childbase Partnership’s total carbon footprint in the year ending October 2021 was 1,023.4 tC0₂e, a reduction of 3%. Childbase Partnership’s total carbon per employee in the year ending in October 2021 was 0.5 tC0₂e, a reduction of 13.1%.
“I am so pleased to see Childbase’s continued progress on carbon reduction this year. Their sites throughout the country have embraced environmental policies that have made this possible. The team’s hard work is something they can demonstrate to all of the children they take care for, creating change not just in the present day, but in the future, too. I am proud of the great steps forward by the team, and hope to see continued success in years to come.”
“Childbase Partnership Ltd began its carbon journey in 2016 with a policy target to obtain a formal, measured, externally verified footprint. This was achieved in partnership with ‘PlanetMark’ in 2018 and now, in 2021, we are celebrating our third year of certification. It became clear that faster and broader action was required from the worlds businesses in tackling the climate crisis and as such we embarked on the Zeroby30 program resulting in our detailed net zero roadmap. This brought our target of zero emissions forward by 15 years, to 2030, and broadened the scope to include all aspects of all three of the emission scopes.”
Mark added “For World Environment Day in 2021 we opted, in partnership with ‘Furthr’, to celebrate this occasion by announcing we had offset our total carbon footprint for 2018/19, circa 6500 tonnes CO2e, via the UNs CER scheme and in doing so enable the work of the UN installing sustainable technologies across the world. This ensures we are addressing our corporate impact on the world in the short, medium and longer-term as we remain committed to decarbonising our operations including an investment of £170,000 in new LED lights across 16 of our settings.”
Certification is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders.
Childbase Partnership’s Head Office is based in Newport Pagnell and it operates 42 sites across mainly central England. Childbase Partnership is committed to providing sustainable and socially responsible environments within all of its nurseries and this commitment starts at an early age. At present, Childbase takes part in both Food for Life Serve Here and Eco-Schools programmes which enhance both education in the environment and environmental issues as well as using products that comes from sustainable sources. The company has also diverted 98.3% of its main waste streams from landfills in 2019.
Education can and must act sustainably if we are to achieve our carbon targets. From empowering children, raising environmental awareness and improving the physical environment of the educational environments, acting on climate change can have positive impacts throughout the community.
Through the Planet Mark Zeroby30 programme, Childbase has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2030.
Childbase’s success is rooted in a commitment to the individual, professionally and personally, because they believe that employee well-being, engagement and retention is critical to consistently high provision. These values are reflected in their provision of sustainable and responsible settings in which children can be fully prepared for their responsibilities to both the environment and the global community.
The company announced ‘Net-Zero by 2030’ targets and Mark Bird, leader of sustainability openly shares the work and challenges that this entails. Childbase is successfully recording a year on year reduction in carbon emissions produced at their nurseries and head office. They have switched to renewable energy sources, implemented zero waste to landfill strategies and use a disposable nappy recycling collection service. The nurseries are proud to serve plant-rich menus to reduce carbon emissions and source produce ethically and locally.
In a bid to further reduce their scope 3 emissions, Childbase partnered with ‘Furthr’ to address issues caused by employees and customer mileage. Using a simple system of surveys, guidance and prizes, Childbase is able to collect accurate data and promote lively engagement. Parents and staff can easily log their travel choices from their phones and for the top 10 most improved and engaged nurseries there are trophies and prizes. This partnership has allowed Childbase to address an area over which they have little control, but which creates the biggest source of carbon emissions. Providing the tools for employees and customers helps steer a large group towards a more sustainable approach to travel. This is a big group, so change is slow, but little by little the project is producing vital improvements. The biggest success is the ownership of travel, an area is previously seen as something that happens to a business rather than something a business can have a positive influence over.
As a sustainability leader, Mark recognises the need for wider engagement in the education sector. He has spoken at the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and the Department for Education (DfE) with Childbase as an example of both a thriving sustainable educational business and effective employee engagement.
Through Mark’s work, and that of others in the sector, the governing body is likely to place sustainable education as a core deliverable for education going forwards.
Through the ‘Edie’ media network Mark has presented on Net-Zero business models and became one of a handful invited to join Edie’s NetZero Leaders Club as a founding member.
Childbase Partnership is an entirely employee-owned business with company shares owned by an employee trust. This is a unique model in this sector and Mark has been a vocal proponent of using the strong engagement in company ethics to push forward with sustainable business decisions.
A high percentage of Childbase nurseries hold Eco-Schools Green Flags for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation with many having attained a second consecutive Green Flag, making Childbase the largest Early Years leader in this programme.
The education sector is critical for inspiring and motivating young minds to make responsible decisions for the future health and happiness of the world around them. Through their sustainability role modelling and action, Childbase is doing all it can to ensure that our planet is in safe hands.